Erika Sanely (erika_sanely) wrote,
Erika Sanely

Being organised and phrases of Australia

This morning I am off to the town next door to participate in a Relay for Life which goes from 1:45 pm until 10 am the next day. It’s been forecast to rain. All weekend. 10 – 20 mm of rain on Sunday. Fun for all the family with bonus trench foot thrown in for good measure!  And then next week at work I have training days on Wednesday and Thursday, so Monday and Tuesday will be spent trying to get four days worth of work completed in two. Fun times! As I have said before though, I have a lot of spare time in my role, so I should be okay getting the work done. The hard part will be writing. When I get on a roll, I do spew forth more words than are necessary though, I maybe I’ll be okay.

mabiana  asked me about Australian sayings and phrases, as I had replied to her earlier with  ‘no worries.’ I know I use that a lot, as it can mean pretty much anything positive. Most use it in relation of being asked to do something. So its definition is “Doing that particular task won’t be a problem for me to achieve whatsoever. “ There’s a funny YouTube clip by a Canadian comedienne on her hearing the phrase ‘no worries’ for the first time, I’ll track it down and add it.

I’m not sure if typical Australian slang is something I can go on about for a bit, but one of my personal favourites which I haven’t heard in my travels around other countries (so I’m assuming it’s pure Australian )is the phrase “it’s all much of a muchness.” That one is the same as “it’s 6 of one, half a dozen of another.”  But sounds confusing and makes your brain go “muchness isn’t a word!”

“Crook as Rookwood” is another favourite. Crook means ill, and Rookwood is a cementary in Sydney. So if you’re as crook as rookwood – which has the added bonus of almost rhyming – you feel like you’re on death’s door.

“Call Ian Parker” – this one is very region specific, and probably even age specific. I don’t live in the region anymore, so I don’t know if they still play the ad. Anyway, it was an ad on the telly for a car lot run by a man with the name “Ian Parker”. It was your typical  car lot advert, and it had it’s own song. No one can remember any of the song, except for the final line, which was “Ian Parkes cares!” So after a while, if someone was whining about something, you’d say to them “Here’s 30 cents*; call Ian Parker.” Because Ian Parker cares, and I really don’t give a shit.  That last bit is implied. But people have been known to add it to really make sure the person really gets that they’re trying to say.
*that’s how much phone calls cost from a public pay phone at the time.

We call people with red hair “rangas” (pronounced – rang-er) which is short for Orangutan.  (It does sound offensive, but as a whole, Australians love red headed people. When Julia Gillard became Prime Minister, people were more excited that she was our first red headed Head of State, then the fact that she was our first female Prime Minister.)

“Cas” – which is pronounced like ‘cadge’ with little emphasis on the d is short for “casual.” I once said to a Canadian I know that the dress code was ‘cas’ and he was completely lost. I think he thought it was a particular brand that had to be worn.

Calling someone Nigel means you’re calling them a “Nigel No-friends.”

To say that someone is generous, you’d say that they had a “heart as big as Phar Lap’s” He was a Kiwi race horse in the 1930’s that we adopted as 100% Australian. They think the reason he was such a great racer, is because his heart was about twice the size of a normal horses’ heart. You can even go to a museum is Canberra which has Phar Lap’s heart next to a normal horse heart for comparison. I’ve seen it, and it is indeed bloody huge!

“That’s going straight to the pool room” is a way to say that something will be taking pride of place in your house. (Comes from an Australian movie called “The Castle”. Eric Bana is in it. It’s VERY Australia, so I’m not comfortable recommending it, as I think a lot of the humour would be lost on people from different cultures.)
One of my favourites that you don’t hear as much is “doing a Bradbury.” Stephen Bradbury won Australia’s first ever gold medal at the Winter Olympics. He did it by being so far behind in the speed skating, that when someone tripped and EVERYONE ELSE FELL OVER he just had to skate past them to win. It was pretty arse-y of him, and was a real stroke of luck for him. (Seriously, you need to YouTube that. It. Is Awesome. I am saying that as an Australian, so your mileage may vary.

Actually, here it is:

Another good one that you don’t hear that often anymore is “doing the Harlod Holt.” This is a two-fold one that pretty much means the same thing. ‘Holt’ rhymes with ‘Bolt’ so it means you’re running or have gone away. Harold Holt was an Australian Prime Minister, that went for a swim in the ocean with his mistress and .... never came out of the water. There are two trains of thought; one is that he drowned, which does make sense. The other is that he was either kidnapped by or defected to the Chinese. Oh yea,h, we’re the kind of country that loses the most important man in the country. His body has never been found, by the way.

Tags: nanowrimo

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